TEDDY LASRY / FUNKY GHOST 1975 -1987 / HOT MULE – By Cal Gibson

Super review by Cal Gibson, of The Secret Soul Society and Scruffy Soul Recordings.

This is a lovely, charming round up of French multi-instrumentalist Teddy Lasry’s work embracing jazz, funk, soul and ambient flavours. All executed with a sure-footed lightness of touch that really stands the test of time superbly well.

From his origins as a sax player in the prog band, Magma, in the early `70s, Lasry branched off on a solo career into the realms of library music – and the freedom to stretch his musical wings is writ large over the selection on offer here. Opener Raising Sun On Bali is a sweet-natured starting point: a serene trumpet line welcomes in the new day, the keys cascade behind, the synth lines twinkle merrily: it’s a sparkling melange of ambient jazz that’s been on repeat this cold and rainy afternoon. As a digital bonus, it also gets a lovely remix from Lexx.

Los Angeles brings flutes to the game, and ups the funk quota: one of the comments on the youtube link nails it as ‘Bobbi Humphrey meets Keith Emerson and Kool and the Gang on acid’ – I can’t do any better than that.

Blue Theme keeps the flute and lays it down over an aquatic groove with slinky clavinet feels. Taken from his 1976 LP, Escalade, its another super sublime slice of goodness.

Chamonix is pure synth madness: doubtless written to mimic the downhill ski-ing experience, it hares along, beatless for almost two minutes before a crunchy break comes in. A digger’s delight without a doubt.

So we’re deep in Hawkshaw / Brian Bennett territory here: superb musicianship allied to theme tunes and incidental pieces making for a wholesome musical platter. The title cut, Funky Ghost, is almost ridiculously hip: a low-down funk swagger of epic proportions, shimmying it’s little heart out: yes sir we can boogie.

There`s literally not a duff track in sight. The more you play it the more you find yourself entranced by Lasry’s superbly subtle melodic gifts. It’s areal grower of a collection, a fine testament to a life spent crafting miniature musical masterpieces. If you like the library music end of things, you’re going to absolutely adore this album.

Teddy Lasry`s Funky Ghost 1975 – 1987 is released on Friday, by Hot Mule. 

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